Dance Umbrella 2018 – exciting collaborations

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Celebrate choreographic collaborations at the 30th edition of the Dance Umbrella festival in Joburg in March.

DOLL by Owen Lonzar and Sylvaine Strike. Photo by Sylvaine Strike.
DOLL by Owen Lonzar and Sylvaine Strike. Photo by Sylvaine Strike.

The Dance Umbrella festival, funded by the National Lotteries Commission Fund, with 18 programmes of new contemporary dance works, will celebrate its 30th anniversary by dancing all over Johannesburg from March 6 -18, 2018.

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Featured in two weeks of contemporary dance and performance art, are the new works of commissioned choreographers and several exciting collaborations.

These collaborative works include:


Gula Matari by Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe (which premiered at Dance Umbrella 1992), which will share the stage with Mayhem by Gregory Vuyani Maqoma, opens the festival on March 6 and 7 at the UJ Centre for the Arts. Maqoma and Mantsoe started their dance careers at Moving into Dance Mophatong where they began creating work. Maqoma is respected for his collaborations with artists of his generation; since 2000 he has collaborated with choreographers like Akram Khan, Vincent Mantsoe, Faustin Linyekula, Dada Masilo, Shanell Winlock and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. The programme is presented in collaboration with French-Institut South Africa.


Sometimes I Have to Lean In… Gerard Bester collaborates with Alan Parker in a new work. Both artists have a long history of presenting work at the Dance Umbrella; Bester was in the inaugural Dance Umbrella and Parker has been presenting work for the past ten years.

Bester has also worked extensively with Robyn Orlin, appearing in several works which toured internationally. These include daddy i’ve seen this piece six times before and i still don’t know why they’re hurting each other (1999), Babysitting Caspar (2002), Hidden Beauties/Dirty Histories (2004) a short dance film commissioned by Arté in France, and Baby Sitting Baby Louis (2009).


Moya Michael
Moya Michael

Coloured Swans 1: Khoiswan– the premiere of a new work by South African-born Moya Michael in collaboration with South African artist Tracey Rose at the Wits Downstairs Theatre on March 8 and 9 at 20:00.

Created at the Ebhudlweni Arts Centre in Mpumalanga, Coloured Swans investigates the role of ‘coloured’ people in the world today; the artists look into why the world restricts itself to black and white and ask – what about the shades of grey? This work is presented in collaboration with the Government of Flanders; BoZar; CoKot and KVS Creations.


Hillbrowfication is a work created by German choreographer Constanza Macras/Lizi Estaras that will premiere at the Hillbrow Theatre on March 9 at 18:00 and March 10 at 14:30. 21 children and youths from the Hillbrow Theatre Project ranging between ages 5 to 22, together with three professional dancers, will explore the Hillbrow of the future and challenge and inspire the young to re-imagine their neighbourhood, as well as look at their perceptions and experience of xenophobia and violence. This work is a co-production between Constanza Macras and the Hillbrow Theatre Project with Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, supported by Goethe Institut Johannesburg and funded by the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.


2011 Dance Umbrella Johannesburg 24 February - 06 March.  Wits University Theatre, 05 March.  'Fractured' choreographed by Fana Tshabalala and performed by Moving Into Dance Mophatong dancers Tshabalala, Muzi Shili, Thembi Setiabi, Thandi Tshabalala and Sonia Radebe.  Supported by The National Arts Council, Rand Merchant Bank,The National Lottery and Anglo American.  Photograph  :  John Hogg.
2011 Dance Umbrella
Johannesburg 24 February – 06 March.
Wits University Theatre, 05 March.
‘Fractured’ choreographed by Fana Tshabalala and performed by Moving Into Dance Mophatong dancers Tshabalala, Muzi Shili, Thembi Setiabi, Thandi Tshabalala and Sonia Radebe.
Supported by The National Arts Council, Rand Merchant Bank,The National Lottery and Anglo American.
Photograph : John Hogg.

A work called Men – a collaboration between the award-winning choreographer Fana Tshabalala and Swiss choreographer Vladimir Ippolitov – is inspired by the idea of the “ideal kind of Man” within society; how have the roles and responsibilities changed through the years, leaving “Man” in a state of bewilderment? This new work will be presented at Joburg Fringe Theatre on March 10 at 19:30 and March 11 at 14:30. It will be partnered by the annual National School of the Arts platform. The work is presented in collaboration with Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council; Embassy of Foreign Artists, Broken Borders and Geneva Dance Events.


So you see ... - Robyn Orlin. Photo by Jerome Seron.
So you see … – Robyn Orlin. Photo by Jerome Seron.

…and so you see…our honourable blue sky and ever-enduring sun…can only be consumed slice by slice, Robyn Orlin ‘s internationally acclaimed work at the Dance Factory on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13 and 14 at 18:00. ‘…slice by slice” features Albert Ibokwe Khoza and Thabo Pule, and is produced by City Theatre and Dance Groups, Festival Montpelier Danse 2016; Festival d’Automne a Paris; Kinneksbond; Centre Culturel Mamer, Luxembourg Centre Dramatique National de Haute-Normandie; la Ferme du Buisson, scene Nationale de Marne-la-Vallee with the support of Arcadi Ile-de-France.


Elements – Jayesperi Moopen’s new work created on The Cape Dance Company will be presented at the Wits Theatre on March 13 and 14 at 20:30. Two completely diverse companies – Cape Dance Company and Tribhangi Dance Theatre – explore, and celebrate the joy of discovery: while we continue to remain impactful and relevant through our art, we draw on the elements like Mother Earth, Water, Wind, Fire and Space to inspire movement, that only these forces of nature can provide in its beauty and destruction.


Sylvaine Strike collaborates with Owen Lonzar on a new work called Doll which premieres at the Wits Theatre on March 17 at 20:00 and March 18 at 14:30. The two artists explore the life of an online order, ownership, desire, disappointment, objectification and Harvey Weinstein.

Other highlights at Dance Umbrella 2018 are a series of master classes presented by Vincent Mantsoe and Gregory Maqoma on March 7; Gerard Bester and Alan Parker on March 10; Fana Tshabalala on March 11; Louise Coetzer on March 12 and Musa Hlatshwayo on March 12 and Face to Face conversations, facilitated in partnership with Drama for Life, which will take place with the same artists after the classes. To book a place for the Master Classes please call Lethabo at 076 162 3999.


Dance Umbrella 2018 is funded by the National Lotteries Commission. Other partners include Creative Feel Magazine; National Arts Council; the French Institut South Africa; Goethe-Institut Johannesburg; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Splitbeam; Drama for Life and Business and Arts South Africa.

Tickets range from R50.00 to R150.00 – book at www.webtickets.co.za

Block bookings of 10 or more offer a 30% discount and school block bookings of 10 or more will get 50% discount. For block booking discounts and programme updates, please call the hotline – 076 162 3999 or 011 673 0035 or email info@danceforum.co.za

For the Dance Umbrella 2018 programme, updates on the master classes and Face to Face interviews please visit www.danceforumsouthafrica.co.za

Follow Dance Umbrella on Twitter: @danceumbrellaSA / Facebook: Dance Umbrella Festival Johannesburg / Instagram: Dance_Umbrella_SA and please use #danceumbrella2018 and #30thanniversary.

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